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THE    CHINESE    MIND                       79

to prove it. When he feels the truth directly that women's
vocabulary in speech and writing is decidedly less abstract,
that is sufficient for him.) With the Chinese as with women,
concrete imagery always takes the place of abstract termin-
ology. The highly academic sentence: "There is no difference
but difference of degree between different degrees of difference
and no difference/3 cannot be exactly reproduced in Chinese,
and a Chinese translator would probably substitute for it the
Mencian question: "What is the difference between running
away fifty steps and running away a hundred steps [in battle]?"
Such a substitute expression loses in definition and exactness,
but gains in intelligibility. To say, "How could I perceive
his inner mental processes?" is not so intelligible as "How could
I know what is going on in his mind?", and this in turn is
decidedly less affective than the Chinese "Am I a tapeworm
in his belly?"

Chinese thought, therefore, always remains on the periphery
of the visible world, and this helps a sense of fact which is the
foundation of experience and wisdom. This dislike of abstract
terms is further seen in the Chinese names for classifications
which usually require sharply defined terms. Instead, the
Chinese always seek the most expressive names for different
categories. Thus in Chinese literary criticism there are different
methods of writing called "the method of watching a fire
across the river" (detachment of style), "the method of dragon-
flies skimming the water surface" (lightness of touch), "the
method of painting a dragon and dotting its eyes" (bringing
out the salient points), the method of releasing a captive before
capturing him" (playing about a subject), "the method of
showing the dragon's head without its tail" (freedom of move-
ment and waywardness of thought), "the method of a sharp
precipice overhanging a ten-thousand-feet ravine" (abruptness
of ending), "the method of letting blood by one needle-prick"
(direct, epigrammatic gibe), "the method of going straight
into the fray with one knife" (direct opening), "the method of
announcing a campaign on the east and marching to the west"
(surprise attack), "the method of side-stabs and flanking
attacks" (light raillery), "the method of a light mist hanging
over a grey lake" (mellow and toned-down style), "the method